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Don’t let Allergies Bring You Down

March 1st, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year. In particular, springtime allergies are an annual nuisance for many people. As plants begin to bloom and neighbors start to cut their grass more frequently, allergy sufferers nationwide start sniffling and sneezing. What’s more, mold growth blooms both indoors and outdoors, making it almost impossible to escape allergy triggers. 

Spring Allergy Alleviation Tips

To reduce your allergies, be sure to take the following steps:

  • Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
     
  • Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
     
  • Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
     
  • Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit skin exposure and dust and chemical inhalation.
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  • Vacuum twice a week.
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  • Make sure the rugs you have are washable.
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  • Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.

Treating Allergies

Treatment for most allergies is available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Talk to your doctor to find out what treatment method is right for you. If your allergy symptoms are severe or chronic, you may need a series of allergy shots. Contact your physician or allergist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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Reduce Your Stress

February 4th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 1 in 3 women has a form of cardiovascular disease. And, heart disease is the leading cause of hospital stays for men in the United States. Due to the prevalence of the disease, the AHA recognizes each February as American Heart Month in hopes of raising awareness about the disease and how to prevent it.

Stress and Heart Health

While there are risk factors that contribute to heart disease that you can’t control, there are many things you can do to maintain your heart health. One of those things is to reduce your stress.

When stress is excessive, it can contribute to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure. If high blood pressure goes untreated, it can result in heart disease.

Reducing Your Stress

Taking steps to reduce your stress will improve your overall health. Try these tips:

  • Plan and prioritize your most important responsibilities.
     
  • Listen to relaxing music to help you calm down.
     
  • Take time off from work to clear your mind.
     
  • Exercise regularly to get your blood and endorphins flowing.

When to Seek Help

If the stresses in your life become more than you can bear or manage with these simple techniques, consider seeking professional assistance. A knowledgeable professional will be able to work with you to devise time management skills and stress-reducing techniques.

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Eat Well, Live Well: Recipe Book

January 3rd, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well
Click to Download

Beware: New Year = New Fad Diets

January 3rd, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Jan. 1 signals a new calendar year, and for many Americans, a “new year, new me” mentality. In fact, according to Business Insider, getting in shape is consistently the most popular New Year’s resolution in the United States. While making lifestyle changes, as approved by a doctor, is not a bad thing, turning to a fad diet to achieve a resolution of getting in shape is not ideal or healthy.

What’s a fad diet?

Fad diets typically promise quick weight loss, oftentimes through unhealthy and unbalanced dieting. A diet can be considered a fad if it:

  • Claims to help you lose more than 1-2 pounds per week
  • Promises that you’ll lose weight and keep it off without giving up fatty foods or starting an exercise program
  • Bases its claims only on “before and after” photos
  • Limits your food choices and encourages you to only eat a specific set or type of food

What are the dangers of fad diets?

Fad diets can lead to things like gout, poor athleticism, heart disease and—ironically—poor, long-term weight-loss control. If you’re looking to get in shape or lose weight this year, make lifestyle changes that encourage portion control, exercise more, avoid empty calories and eat a well-balanced diet. Keep in mind that forming healthy dieting practices now will keep you on track with your long-term weight-loss goal.

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Your Workout Plan

December 7th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Don’t Let Cooler Temperatures Derail Your Workout Plan

If you find it harder to keep up with your workout program as the temperatures drop, you’re not alone. Every year, many Americans find it increasingly difficult to remain committed to their plan as the holidays, shorter days and less-than-ideal weather create obstacles.

Whether you’re a gym-goer or outdoor exerciser, there are simple ways you can overcome the winter obstacles and stay on track with your workout plan.

  • Acclimate to colder weather by warming up inside. If you’re an outdoor exerciser, try doing your warmup inside. By doing so, you’ll raise your body temperature and already be warm before you step outside.
     
  • Prep for your next day the night before. If you’re an early morning gym-goer, try getting everything you need for the next day together the night before. This way, all you need to do when your alarm goes off is get up, get dressed and go to the gym.
     
  • Have a backup plan. Even the most dedicated exercisers will lose their motivation. That’s why it’s essential to have a backup workout plan that you can do at home. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Aim to have three or four full-body workouts ready for when you need them.
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Holiday Recipes – Substituting Fats

November 5th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Makeover Your Holiday Recipes by Substituting Fats


Butter, oils and other fats can add flavor to your favorite recipes, but they can also add many calories. They act as a barrier so flour does not absorb as much water to give your dishes a moist, tender feel. There are many ways to reduce the fat without sacrificing taste; the trick is to replace fats with foods that add creaminess without cholesterol.

Will substituting the fats change how my food tastes?

Substituting fat in your favorite recipes may not give them the same texture, but it will be close. In addition to lower fat content, many of the substitute ingredients will add more fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein to your recipes.

How can I get started substituting?

To experiment, start by substituting one-third of the fat from the recipe and then increase or decrease to your desired likeness. For baking, use ? cup applesauce or fruit juice and ? cup butter instead of 1 full cup of butter. Instead of 1 cup of heavy cream, use 2 tsp. cornstarch whisked into 1 cup of fat-free milk.

Now that you have the basics, it’s time for you to try it out. With the holidays right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to makeover your beloved (and maybe not the healthiest) recipes.

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Myth Busted

July 10th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Myth Busted: Sweating More Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You Burned More Calories

Many people wrongly believe that how much you sweat indicates how effective your workout was. How much you sweat during a workout is due to a variety of factors such as weight, gender, age, genetics, temperature and even fitness level.

For example, men tend to sweat more than women, younger people tend to sweat more than older people and fit people tend to sweat more than those who are less fit.

So remember, don’t use sweat as an indicator for how intense your workout was. Instead, track your heart rate, level of muscle soreness and amount of progress seen to evaluate whether or not your workouts are effective.

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Strawberries Named Dirtiest Produce

June 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Strawberries Named Dirtiest Produce for 3rd Year in a Row by EWG

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce report that details which fruits and veggies are the least—and most—contaminated by pesticides. The guide is designed to help you make healthy and informed choices and reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides.

For the third year in a row, strawberries top the “Dirty Dozen” list of the most pesticide-tainted produce, with one-third of all conventional strawberry samples containing 10 or more pesticides. One sample even contained 22 pesticide residues.

The other fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list are:

SpinachNectarines
ApplesGrapes
PeachesCherries
PearsTomatoes
CeleryPotatoes
Sweet bell peppers

While pesticides boost crop yields, multiple studies have linked pesticides in produce to conditions like asthma, cancer, fertility issues and brain conditions. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station recommends rinsing produce under water for 30 seconds to get rid of pesticide residues. For more information, visit EWG’s website.

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CDC Recommends Shingles Vaccine

May 3rd, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Despite CDC Recommendation, Many Adults Still Refusing Shingles Vaccine

Shingles is an extremely common—and painful—viral infection, affecting 1 out of every 3 Americans at some point in their life. It’s caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, so anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. While scientists are unsure what causes the virus to awaken at a later date, they do know that the only way to reduce the risk of getting shingles is to get vaccinated. 

Recommended Shingles Vaccine

The CDC recommends that adults use a new vaccine called Shingrix instead of Zostavax, which had been the recommended vaccine from 2006-2017. Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common shingles complication. In studies, two doses of Shingrix were found to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and PHN.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

The CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of Shingrix, two to six months apart. People who have had shingles in the past, have received the Zostavax vaccine or are unsure if they have had chickenpox should also receive the Shingrix vaccine, according to CDC recommendations.

To find doctor’s offices or pharmacies near you that offer the vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

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